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Editor's take: Joystick drift in Nintendo's Joy-Cons has been a pain in users' sides since at least 2017. Personally, I have had to repair my left Joy-Con analog mechanism twice since buying my Switch in early 2017. Nintendo is aware of the flaw, yet it has not redesigned the controller, nor does it disclose to the consumer that the sticks are prone to drift, which is causing continued legal problems.
Nintendo is facing yet another class-action lawsuit over the Nintendo Switch's faulty joysticks. This time a 10-year-old boy (M.S.) and his mother, Luz Sanchez, are listed as the representative plaintiffs.
For those unaware, the problem is known as "Joy-Con drift," although that name is somewhat misleading since it does not occur in Joy-Con controllers exclusively. The issue is also present in the Switch Lite mechanisms. When a flaw in the joystick's internals causes the controller's analog sensors register stick movement even when no pressure is applied.
The earliest reports of the flaw began showing up on Nintendo's help forums only about a year after the Switch's March 2017 debut. Nintendo has been aware of the issue for several years but has done little about it, which seems to be the primary point of contention in this latest lawsuit filed on Monday.
"[The] defendant continues to market and sell the Products with full knowledge of the defect and without disclosing the Joy-Con Drift defect to consumers in its marketing, promotion, or packaging," the complaint reads. "Defendant has had a financial motive to conceal the defect, as it did not want to stop selling the Products, and/or would need to expend a significant amount of money to cure the defect."
The class action filed in Califonia's Northern District Court seeks $5 million in damages.
Sanchez et al. v. Nintendo of America is not the first case over the issue. The first class-action lawsuit (Diaz et al. v. Nintendo of America) was filed last year in Seattle's Western District Court. Only a few days later, Nintendo unofficially acknowledged the defect by offering free repairs to those affected.
However, the company never corrected the issue, and complaints continued to flood the forums. Then again, when the problem manifested itself in the Nintendo Switch Lite only months after launch, another suit was filed in Seattle.
In June, after almost three years of customer complaints, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa officially acknowledged and apologized for the "inconvenience." However, he refused to comment any further on the matter, citing the ongoing lawsuits, so it is unknown whether Nintendo engineers are working to resolve the issue or if the company is just going to continue brushing it under the rug.
Image credit: Mr.Whiskey